We are delighted to publish our first issue of Good River Review, the new online literary journal of Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. At the outset, I wish to express gratitude to my editorial colleagues who are embarking upon this literary adventure with me and who have already demonstrated professionalism and editorial acumen that bodes very well for our future issues. It’s a pleasure to work with such talented and acute editors: Managing Editor Ellyn Lichvar, Associate Editor Katy Yocom, and Associate Editor and Book Review Editor Lynnell Edwards. We also applaud and express gratitude to Spalding graduate students and faculty for their help with editorial work and as contributing editors and contributors: Dianne Aprile, Drew Dunlop, Laura Johnsrude, and Veronica Mattaboni.
Good River’s debut is full of work that is timely, evocative, and focused on subjects important to the Spalding School of Writing graduate community. The prose, lyric, and dramatic work in this issue are also indicative of the sort of writing we endeavor to make here in our Spalding community. It’s diverse, layered, well-made, and redolent.
Last spring, because of the pandemic our residency was convened virtually, each of us participating through our computers at our homes across the country and beyond. Through the windows of local students, we could all hear the unrest in Louisville’s streets during the marches to protest the brutal police killing of one of our fellow citizens, Breonna Taylor. Some local students and faculty finished their residency work for the day and joined the protests, bringing back news of police violence. I, for one, still experience deep shame knowing that I’m a citizen of the city in which Breonna Taylor was killed with such indifference that it shocks the conscience—or should. We are honored that poet Evie Shockley has allowed us to publish her poem “breonna taylor’s final rest (or, the furies are still activists),” which we hope will continue to remind us, especially those in her hometown, to demand justice for Breonna Taylor.
We hope too you’ll enjoy reading Felicia Rose Chavez’s chapter “Fostering Engagement, Mindfulness, and Generosity,” from her book The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom. We are grateful to Haymarket Books for allowing us to reprint this important exploration of writing pedagogy. We also hope you enjoy the book reviews and interviews, which we’ll continue to publish on our website between issues, and which we hope will encourage our readers to come back often to GoodRiverReview.com.
We thank Vernon Town for providing the beautiful artwork for our readers and for our Good River logo, which I find to be spirited, fluid, and distinct, and thus a perfect symbol for our journal; likewise, we appreciate beyond measure the countless hours that our web designer Emily Baete has spent helping us to develop and launch this literary project. And we thank Rob and Sharon Mullins for a generous gift that supported our unveiling of Good River to our students, faculty, alumni, and community of readers.
We hope you enjoy the first issue of Good River Review.
–Kathleen Driskell, Editor in Chief